Professor Cathy Nutbrown

Kathy Nutbrown

Cathy Nutbrown

Research interests

Arts-based learning in the early years

Cathy´s work has involved the role of artists in residence in six early years settings in Doncaster. The project Daring Discoveries involved artists, practitioners and children (from 6 months to 5 years) working together to explore the arts. Cathy´s evaluation of the project has shown how children´s learning and development can be supported through close involvement in the arts.

Inclusion in the early years

Cathy´s work on children´s rights and curriculum development has led her to explore aspects of inclusion in the early years. Her work has included work on the preschool educators´ beliefs and practices around inclusion and has looked at work in Europe and the UK. Cathy´s interest in inclusion extends to ways of developing inclusive practices where the voices of children, parents and practitioners are heard and their roles and perspectives valued.

Early literacy work with parents

One of Cathy´s key research areas is early literacy work with parents. This has formed a major part of her research over the past 10 years. The Raising Early Achievement in Literacy (REAL) project is well known and the methods used in this project are being used by many practitioners in several countries to support parents in their efforts to help their young children´s literacy development. Follow the link for further information:


Cathy teaches on the MA in Early Childhood Education and is Director of the EdD in Early Childhood Education.

Other Experience

Cathy began her career as a teacher of young children and has since worked in a range of settings and roles with children, parents, teachers, and other early childhood educators. Cathy is committed to finding ways of working 'with respect' with young children, and sees the concept of quality in the context of what it means to develop curriculum and pedagogy in the early years with the ambition of working in a climate of 'respectful education'.



Recent Funded Projects

Daring Discoveries: Arts Based Learning in the Early Years. Awarding body: Creative Partnerships/Arts Council. (2005/6).

Comparative Approaches to Preschool Education. Awarding body: University of Sheffield, Social Sciences Devolved Fund. (2000/2002).

Raising Early Achievement in Literacy. Awarding body: Nuffield Foundation. (1997/2002).

Research Students

Professor Cathy Nutbrown (School of Education website)

View Cathy Nutbrown's publications


Jean Grugel